Friday, April 27, 2012

Legendary patrol officer Bob Cleland returns to PNG

This is the legendary former kiap, Highlands Highway builder, writer and former resident of Goroka BOB CLELAND, 81, whom I will have the privilege of travelling with to Goroka tomorrow for the launching of the 2012 Goroka Show.
Bob Cleland holding a copy of Big Road today.-Picture by MALUM NALU
 He is holding with him a copy of his widely-acclaimed book, BIG ROAD, which tells the story of the building of the Highlands Highway, particularly the Daulo stretch between Asaro and Watabung in Eastern Highlands in 1953, which he personally supervised as a 23-year-old kiap (patrol officer).
 The 'big road' today is the Highlands Highway running from the port of Lae and through the highlands provinces of PNG.
 BIG ROAD describes the initial construction by hand, in 1953 and 1954, of the Daulo section of the road, which runs over the 2,478m Daulo Pass and which gives access westward to the great Waghi Valley. 
The big road was neither designed nor built by engineers but by patrol officers, or kiaps, with local villagers using only picks, shovels and thousands of hours of backbreaking labour.
 BOB CLELAND was also involved in the first Goroka Show in 1956 and designed the Eastern Highlands provincial flag. 
In true Goroka style, he will be given a hero's welcome when he touches down tomorrow morning.
I'll keep you posted.

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